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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > My rabbit dies after needle...why ?
Last Post by skunklionshow at 8/01/2012 5:57 AM (11 Replies)
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User is Offline Yayo0920
2 posts Send Private Message
7/28/2012 6:22 AM

Up until yesterday at 12pm, I was a proud owner of a 6 year old white netherland dwarf bunny named Yayo.

A week or so ago I noticed he was getting thinner...two weeks prior to that I blamed it on his moulting ( shedding fur) and thats why he looked thinner than normal. He was still eating regularly and pooping regularly, so I didn't think anything of it.

Along with the weight loss, I noticed Yayo's eyes were tearing and he had wetness around his mouth and nose. I looked at his incisors and noticed they were overgrown..so I figured he wasn't able to eat properly because of that and that's why he was losing weight. I brought him to the vet and she said his teeth needed to be trimmed but there seems to be a bigger issue involved. After an xray and a physical exam, the vet diagnosed Yayo with a tooth absess behind his left molar that had spread to the jaw bone.

I was very upset, and said to the vet I would do anything for him to get better. The vet said it is unlikely that his tooth absess will ever be cured..but reading so many articles online and hearing of many rabbits recovering from this, I wanted to give it a shot. So the day he was diagnosed, our course of action towards recovery was to try giving injectable antibiotics every three days. He had his shot that day, and the vet sent us home with some critical care and I made an appointment for Friday July 27th at 9am to get his second antibiotic shot...little did I know, I made an appointment for his death. :'(

Before I go further, if there is any advice, expertise or knowledge you can lend to help me better understand what happened to my bunny I would GREATLY appreciate it. I'm having a very hard time coping.

So I woke up bright and early the day of his appointment and went out to say good morning and to get him ready to go. He seemed more chipper that day than any other day that week.. I figured he was getting more energetic being on the critical care and being able to eat more.. he was eating like a champ. So that made me happy, and I was ready to get his shot over with so I could spend my day off work with him playing around the house.

I brought him to the vet, and the Doctor felt his tummy and checked him out.. said he was still really thin and weak but he looked better than the last visit..which was good. The vet then got the needle to inject the antibiotic. I held Yayo's body while the vet tried injecting the needle.. Yayo squirmed and the vet said the needle seemed a little dull.. so he got another one. When injecting the needle into Yayo, he squirmed more aggressively, and then started screaming with terror.. I was horrified and immediately started screaching my eyes out asking what was wrong..the vet held him and massaged his body where the needle went and he started screaming again.. I was horrified! The vet put yayo on the floor to see if he could stand.. he was flopping to the side, it seemed like his back leg was paralized or really hurt from the needle..and he was breathing heavy. The vet then put him in his kennel to lay down and he laid on his side and looked very stressed and worn out..the doctor said he looked very weak and said he was going to adminsiter some oxygen..he took Yayo out back while I waited for what seemed like a lifetime.

Once the vet returned to me, he said "sit down" .. hearing those words from a doctor is never good and I knew what was coming.

The vet said he didn't think Yayo was going to make it, that he's too stressed out and he's in shock. I cried and cried and asked to be with him.. the vet set us up in a private room with an oxygen tank to help him breathe. Yayo was still alive but I could tell he wasn't coherent. He was just lying down with no strength to even lift his head and he was twitching as if he was having a seizure for over an hour. The vet told me he was dying, and I accepted that this was the end for Yayo...but I cried and cried and cried some more, and I held him in my arms close to my chest, kissing him and telling him how much I loved him as he was taking his last breaths.. I felt him have a seizure, then I felt his heart stop.. I knew he was gone. That was the hardest day of my life.


What I don't understand is how can he die of a needle? Do you think the vet did something wrong and injected him in a painful place, maybe hitting a nerve or do you think he was just too thin and frail to take the pain and he just stressed out and went into shock which made his body shut down?


I don't understand the process of death in rabbits, he was just in a trance state, twitching for an hour and then he died..we couldn't do anything, we were completely hopeless.


I miss him and love him so much and life will never be the same without him.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
16043 posts Send Private Message
7/28/2012 6:32 AM
I don't know what could have happened. He may have been sicker than either you or the vet realized. Countless rabbits undergo the same treatment with no ill effects, and in many cases, the treatments are successful. It seems that he was just one of the unlucky few.

I am so, so sorry for your loss, and that it was a traumatic event for both you and your bun. I'm thankful you were able to at least comfort him in his final moments.

(((Binky free Yayo!)))
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Yayo0920
2 posts Send Private Message
7/28/2012 7:27 AM
Thank you for your reply... I feel comfort in being able to be there for him while he passed..but it was too soon.. and I don't understand what caused him so much pain :'( He deserved so much better.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
8980 posts Send Private Message
7/28/2012 10:47 AM
That is horrifying. I am so incredibly sorry for what you and your bunny went through. I too am glad you were at least with him as he crossed over. I have no idea what could have happened. When the vet gave the injection was he pulling the skin up away from the back of the neck to prevent poking muscle or bone? We have had to give injections many times with our past bunnies and they rarely even notice when we inject them on the back of the neck via tenting the skin up first. A vet tech once told me that the back of the neck has less nerve-endings there and is less painful for them. But I if a needle was poked in to something else then I could see where it may be painful. Could be that your bunny just freaked out and the stress on the bunny that was already dealing with an illness put him into shock. Maybe he had an allergic reaction with the second injection. Do you know the name of the antibiotic? Of course, I have NO IDEA about this and this is all just guessing. What did vet think happened?

Again, I am just so sorry. This brings me to tears. Hugs to you and healing vibes to you. I know it's so painful right now, and you will be going through a mourning period. He obviously was a well-cared for bunny who knew he was loved.

He is now at peace and as we say to those bunnies who have passed -- Binky Free now Yayo.

User is Offline tobyluv
South Carolina
2785 posts Send Private Message
7/28/2012 11:08 AM
I am very sorry about what happened with Yayo. I know it must have been a comfort for him that you, the person who loved and cared for him for 6 years, was there when he passed over.

User is Offline Sarita
18885 posts Send Private Message
7/28/2012 11:58 AM
I'm very sorry for your loss. It is truly hard to say what really happened and perhaps the needle was just a coincidence. I've given countless shots to my rabbits without incident and most shots are done subcutaneously so the vet can tent the skin and inject the needle. I think you are feeling worse because you were there and felt helpless watching that happen.

User is Offline Cyrus Bunny
21 posts Send Private Message
7/28/2012 12:02 PM
I'm sorry to hear the loss of your loved Yayo.
Cyrus- Dwarf Bunny DOB- 5-24-12 Gottcha Day- 7-3-12

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
11066 posts Send Private Message
7/29/2012 3:45 AM
I am so sorry you went through this. It was truly heartbreaking for you. I suspect he had a more serious illness and it may have played a part in his reaction, but I can't possibly know and only the vet could figure it out if she wants to.

What my vet once told me is that, when a bunny is dying and their systems are shutting down one by one as you witnessed, they lose consciousness early on, so they are no longer in pain as it is happening. That's why the appearance of a trance-like state. He really was in a form of a trance at the end. So once he stopped screaming, he was probably much less aware of it all, and you were a comfort to him during the final hour.

I am sending you hugs. It's hard to make other people who don't have rabbits understand how upset you are, so please post here as often as you like for our support. Most of us have been through our bunny's passing, and know how difficult it is for you right now.
SPIKE, my snuggle bunny (aka Spikey Marbles)

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
16155 posts Send Private Message
7/29/2012 6:31 AM
Im so very sorry on the loss of your bunny. Yayo was sure lucky to have someone who loved him so much. No bunny parent should ever have to go through that. Many **Hugs** to you.

I wish I could offer advice to make you feel better.

(((((Binky Free Yayo)))))
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

User is Offline littlebuns
20 posts Send Private Message
7/29/2012 1:25 PM
Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. I was with my dog when he passed and saw him take his last breath. I couldn't imagine having to go through that again with my bunnies. Truly heartbreaking. Yayo lived a happy life.

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
12104 posts Send Private Message
7/31/2012 8:11 PM
I'm so so sorry, how terrible and unexpected. I hope you feeling a little less raw as time goes on. I think your vet owes you an explanation of what he thinks happened. We can speculate as we have here, but I think your vet should provide a good explanation for you, or even his thoughts. Obviously neither of you expected this treatment to be the end, but your vet is in a position to give a good explanation for what happened. Its up to you, but perhaps in a few more days or weeks when you are feeling a little better, it may help you with closure to discuss what happened with your vet. **HUGS** to you. Binky free Yayo

User is Offline skunklionshow
City of Brotherly "Shove"
1260 posts Send Private Message
8/01/2012 5:57 AM

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I lost my Leo (lionhead) a few years ago to a tooth abcess that led to his jaw.  Just like you I did not notice much out of the ordinary.  He was eating treats & food, but he was losing some wt.  I took him to the vet by the time he was so weak that he was refusing to eat his critical care.  That's when I learned about the abcess.  When it gets into the jaw, it's very serious and my understanding can lead to infections directly to the heart, like humans.  I returned home w/ him from the ER and attempted to feed him anything (fresh fruit).  The next morning I took him to work w/ me, so I could bring him back for surgery to remove the abcess (this was at the Univ of PA Vet school).  He died in my office b/f I got him to the hospital.  He did similar, as have my other rabbits that have died w/ me present, trans like state, tremors, moving his neck/head upwards, breathing issues, more tremors then death.  I feel that the time it happened at the vet it was more peaceful (Cocopuff-another rabbit) b/c he was in the O2 pen most of the time and I could pet him.  He didn't seem to stretch out his neck as traumatically, just did so after his death.   They crane their neck to increase oxygen.  Watching your bunny die is very traumatic b/c it seems like sometimes they are fighting it, that's b/c as prey they rely on instincts. 

Please don't worry about the why, just spend time grieving & mourning rather than blaming yourself.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Ghandi

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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > My rabbit dies after needle...why ?

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